Iraq condemns Turkish airstrikes on Sinjar

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-18 00:06:35|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iraq on Friday condemned the airstrikes carried out by Turkish warplanes in Sinjar in northern Iraq and denied any coordination with Ankara regarding the strikes.

"The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemns the Turkish airstrikes on Sinjar within the civilian-populated areas," the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Mahjoob said in a statement.

"While the ministry rejects these attacks, it categorically denies any coordination between Baghdad and Ankara in this regard," the statement said in response to reports claiming the Turkish attacks were conducted with permission of the Iraqi government.

The condemnation came after the Turkish operations against the Turkish outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Sinjar, killing dozens of them, including a most-wanted PKK leader Ismail Ozden, codenamed Mam Zeki Shingali.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi ministry renewed its call on Turkey to withdraw its forces from a military base at the town of Bashiqa near Mosul, as its presence is "in contrary to international conventions and the principle of respect for mutual sovereignty."

Since 2015, hundreds of Turkish soldiers have been deployed in Bashiqa camp, some 30 km northeast of Mosul.

The presence of the Turkish troops led to a dispute between Iraq and Turkey, as Baghdad repeatedly said Turkish forces violated Iraq's sovereignty by entering the country without permission.

However, Ankara said that Turkish soldiers were sent to Bashiqa at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and that their presence aimed at training both Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and local tribal volunteers to combat IS militants in Mosul, which was liberated from the IS in July 2017 by the Iraqi forces.